Christmas and the New Year already seem a long way into the past, and while our thoughts might be turning to spring and being able to spend time in the conservatory and the garden again, the Met office suggests that winter might have a sting in its tail. High pressure across Scandinavia and Russia will send some freezing blasts across the UK in late January and early February, so we need to keep those hatches battened down for a while yet.
Let’s just think about that for a moment, though. It’s one thing to say you can’t spend much time in the garden in sub zero temperatures, but the conservatory? Surely, the whole idea of having one is to be able to enjoy the sight of the great outdoors from a position of warmth and cosiness. If you find your conservatory is too cold for year-round use, it really is time to do something about it.
Insulate the roof
With all that glass and aluminium, it probably comes as no surprise to learn that a conservatory loses most of its heat straight through the roof – more than 90 percent of it, in fact. This can be reduced to less than ten percent with the installation of an insulated conservatory ceiling.
If you take only one measure to warm up your conservatory, this is the single improvement that will have the greatest impact. If you insulate the conservatory ceiling, you will not only find that the conservatory suddenly becomes habitable in the colder months, you will also notice that it is a more pleasant, ambient atmosphere the whole year round – after all, when the temperature tops 30°C outside in the height of summer, it can be just too hot to remain in the conservatory for any length of time under all that glass.
Check the doors
With the insulated conservatory ceiling taken care of, you will already notice a big improvement in the temperature, but there are other areas worth checking too. After the roof, the next target for your attention needs to be the main door separating your conservatory from the outside world. These come in different materials and sizes, but there are a couple of common issues to watch out for.
If you have sliding doors,check the runners are clear and that the mechanism is operating correctly. In time, debris can accumulate which may mean that your door does not close properly, presenting a security risk as well as some serious draughts.
Perhaps your conservatory is fitted with normal uPVC doors. People assume uPVC needs no maintenance, but the doors can drop in time, and stop sealing properly. This can be put right in a matter of minutes by an expert.
Remember the small things
If it’s generally used in the summer months, your conservatory is probably full of floral cushions and pastel shades. Simply adding a thick rug on the floor and some warm blankets on the seats can make it seem far cosier and more inviting in colder weather, and will cost next to nothing.
Make it a year-round living space
Many of us are still getting through the extra food and drink we got in for entertaining over the festive season. When you look back on how crowded the house can become during Christmas and New Year, what with family, friends and the space taken up by the Christmas tree, it seems crazy to have what can be the most attractive entertaining space in the house closed off.
Why not make a belated new year’s resolution to insulate the conservatory ceiling and carry out the other checks and improvements we talked about, and make your conservatory the focal point of any social gathering, whatever the time of year.